HMRC hits law firm with winding-up petition

Hundreds of jobs could be at risk after HMRC issued a winding-up petition against law firm Linder Myers Solicitors.

The 100-year-old firm has offices in Manchester, Chester, Lytham, York and Shrewsbury, and is one of 14 legal brands operated by Metamorph Group.

Three of those brands – Linder Myers, Gosport-based Donnelly and Elliott Solicitors, and SLC Solicitors in Telford – form MLL Ltd, which has been issued with a winding-up petition this week.

A spokesperson for the group told it was “working hard and in collaboration with HMRC to resolve any outstanding matters in relation to our company MLL”.

MLL’s accounts, for the year to June 2021, are currently four months overdue.

The most recent filed accounts for MLL showed a £2.1m loss for the 18 months to June 2020, although this was partly due to a restructure that saw the businesses Donnelly and Elliott Solicitors and SLC Solicitors, as well as Linder Myers Solicitors, brought together.

During that period the company employed more than 300 people and had assets of £4.5m – although its accounts included a written commitment from Metamorph Group to provide support for at least one year should it be required.

In the notes to the accounts, the company said: “Covid-19 has had a mixed impact on the group, with some areas such as trusts and probate and family increase in demand for services throughout the period and in other areas, the courts slowing down has reduced our ability to complete cases.

“Furlough was used to help manage the financial impact of this situation, which also enabled the retention of key skills and capacity within the business.”

MLL is the second law firm to have its financial problems made public this week, after Liverpool financial mis-selling specialist Next Gen Solicitors filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.